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This Note begins by describing the process for seeking benefits as a disabled veteran in the United States. It next examines how PTSD due to sexual assault is subject to a higher level of scrutiny in the benefit application process. The Note then considers the prevalence of MSA in the armed forces and the veracity of victims’ claims. It goes on to describe the clinical connection between MSA and PTSD. Lastly, it catalogs the obstacles to successful disability claims that the veterans disability application process presents.
This Note then analyzes the application process and suggests areas for improvement. Continued vigilance is necessary to abandon the outmoded stereotypes of sexual assault and this Note commends the Department of Defense (DOD) for taking important steps to that end. Unifying the veterans’ disability application process would provide fair and equal treatment of PTSD claims regardless of cause. The fact-finding process within the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) should be reformed to ensure the Board does not delegate its fact-finding responsibilities to the medical professionals it turns to for evidence. Finally, the contemporaneous proof requirement bars PTSD claims with an otherwise sound clinical basis—a profile that fits many claims based on MSA—and federal regulations should acknowledge this fact. . .